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Senior Lindsey Cameron hit a walk-off home run to lift Florida over Hofstra Wednesday night.

Wednesday February 22, 2006Softball Takes Two From Hofstra, 7-3 and 6-3

Gainesville, FL

Senior Lindsey Cameron hit a walk-off home run to lift Florida over Hofstra Wednesday night.

Clutch hits in late innings provided the Gator softball team (9-5) with two come-from-behind wins over Hofstra (5-3) Wednesday night at the Florida Softball Stadium. The Gators won game one, 7-3, on a home run by senior Kristen Butler (Orlando, Fla.) in the bottom of the fifth. The game two 6-3 win came on a walk-off home run by senior Lindsey Cameron (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) in the bottom of the seventh.

 

“The most important thing is finding a way to battle every pitch of every at bat to get that clutch hit,” Florida Head Coach Tim Walton said. “Then you have to maintain that intensity to win. Our team really came through tonight.”

 

Florida was behind 3-1 going into the bottom of the fifth in game one. Freshman Brooke Johnson (Lakeland, Fla.) led off the inning with a base hit to center field. With two outs and Johnson still on first, Cameron knocked a double to center field to narrow Hofstra’s lead to just one run. Butler stepped up to the plate and took a 2-1 count over the center field fence for her seventh home run of the season to give the Gators the 4-3 lead.

 

The Gator two-out rally wasn’t to end there though, as Florida’s juniors had a chance to add to the Gator tally. Melissa Zick (Tampa, Fla.) singled to left center. Shelley Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.) reached on an error by the Pride third baseman, allowing her to second and Zick all the way to third. Lacy Howard (League City, Texas) took her first home run of the season over the left field fence to give the Gators the four-run lead.

 

Florida scored its first run on its first at bat of the game as freshman Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) used her first time in the leadoff position to hit her first career home run.

 

Hofstra scored one run each in the second, third and fifth innings. In the second, Pam Dreslinski scored on a Genevieve RBI double. In the third inning, a Gator error with two outs allowed Ashley Lane on base. She advanced to second on a wild pitch and came around to score on a Courtney Oliver base hit. Lisa Wambold led off the fifth inning with a home run to left field.

 

Freshman Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) pitched a complete game, striking out five, to improve her record to 4-1 on the year. Kayleigh Lotti took the loss for Hofstra to even her record at 2-2.

 

Game two was a back and forth battle between the two teams. The Gators eventually came out on top with the three-run, walk-off homer by Cameron in the bottom of the seventh. Senior Stacie Pestrak (Gainesville, Fla.) led off the inning with a walk. Waleszonia followed with a bunt single, her third of the game. Cameron took the first pitch she saw over the centerfield wall for the 6-3 win.

 

Hofstra was the first to score in the game. In the top of the first, the Pride loaded the bases on a walk, a hit by pitch and a Gator error. With two outs, Dreslinski hit the RBI-single through the right side to score Wambold. A Gator error on the play allowed Ashley Lane to score and put Hofstra up 2-0.

 

Florida was not able to answer until the bottom of the fifth. Howard led off the inning with a base hit to third. Senior Lindsay Norfleet (Madison, Fla.) followed with a base hit up the middle, allowing Howard to advance to third. Johnson used a nine-pitch at bat to drive a double to the left field wall, just inside the foul line, and tie the game at 2-2.

 

Hofstra went up by one in the top of the sixth. After a leadoff base hit by Tara Ulrich, Florida freshman pitcher Lindsay Littlejohn (Bartow, Fla.) came in to replace starter Stacey Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.). Hofstra loaded the bases on two walks and a fielder’s choice. Erika Bernstein took Littlejohn to a full count before drawing the base on balls to walk in the go ahead run with two outs in the inning. Littlejohn forced an infield pop up from the final batter to end the Pride scoring threat.

 

Zick drew a lead-off walk in the bottom of the sixth, representing the tying run for the Gators. Junior Lauren Roussell (Cerritos, Calif.) moved her to second with a sacrifice bunt. A Norfleet base hit up the middle was hard enough to score Zick from second and knot the game at 3-3.

 

Littlejohn struck out all three Hofstra batters in the top of the seventh to give her offense the chance to win the game. Littlejohn and Stevens combined for nine strikeouts on the night, tying a season high for the Gators’ pitching staff. Littlejohn earned the win to improve her record to 3-3 on the year. Amy Belonick took the loss in relief for Hofstra, making her record 0-1.

 

The Gators travel to Columbus, Ga. this weekend for the NFCA Leadoff Classic. The Leadoff features 24 teams from around the country, including defending national champion Michigan and College World Series participants Alabama and Tennessee. Florida will play a round robin in their four team pool against Illinois, Nebraska and Florida Atlantic. The winner of the pool will advance to the gold championship playoff bracket. Florida’s first game is Friday at noon against Illinois. The game will air live on GatorZone.com. All games will also feature live stats courtesy of GameTracker.

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